Four of the five applicants for the second Philadelphia gaming license will state their case to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau on Thursday morning.
One of them - Casino Revolution, whose site is at Front Street and Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia - is lining up a series of restaurants.
Midday Thursday, the operators, PHL Gaming, expect to announce that they have "interest" from such operators as Bobby's Burger Palace (whose Philly-area locations are in University City and Cherry Hill), Il Mulino from New York, Rice & Company of out Las Vegas, Todd English P.U.B., Coyote Ugly Saloon, Texas de Brazil steakhouse, Lucky Strike Lanes (already in Center City), F.A.M.E. out of Vegas and Villa Enterprises (a Morristown, N.J., company with many brands). Chef Nunzio Patruno previously disclosed that he would run a high-end Italian restaurant at Casino Revolution.
These aren't letters of intent, cautions Nicholas Lillo, the real estate consultant working on Casino Revolution's nongaming attractions. For one thing, Casino Revolution would have to win the license; the decision won't be made till 2014. The brands, however, have allowed Lillo to use their logos in presentations, he said.
Lillo, steered to Casino Revolution by restaurateur David Mantelmacher, carries enormous credibility in the specialty field of leasing mall space to restaurants. A veteran of at least three decades in the business, he spent most of his time with industry giants Melvin Simon in Los Angeles and Simon Property Group in Indianapolis. He now has his own company, Bianca Mano, and works around the world.
Plans for Casino Revolution, sited just off I-95 and I-76 on property largely controlled by produce giant Procacci Bros., also include a 250-room hotel, retail, sports facilities, zip-lines, a golf driving range, a dry ski/skateboarding park, water park, and live music.